Friday, July 11, 2008

The early Irish were famous for their excellence in arts and crafts, especially for their wonderful work in metals, bronze, silver and gold. By the beginning of the 14th century trading ships were constantly sailing between Ireland and the leading ports of the Continent.

This commerce was a threat to English merchants who tried to discourage such trade. They brought pressure on their government, which passed a law in 1494 that prohibited the Irish from exporting any industrial product, unless it was shipped through an English port, with an English permit after paying English fees. However, England was not able to enforce the law. By 1548 British merchants were using armed vessels to attack and plunder trading ships travelling between Ireland and the Continent(unofficial piracy).

In 1571 Queen Elizabeth ordered that no cloth or stuff made in Ireland could be exported, even to England, except by English men in Ireland. The act was amended in 1663 to prohibit the use of all foreign-going ships, except those that were built in England, mastered and three-fourths manned by English, and cleared from English ports. The return cargoes had to be unloaded in England. Ireland's shipbuilding industry was thus destroyed and her trade with the Continent wiped out.

Ireland then began a lucrative trade with the Colonies. That was "cured" in 1670 by a new law which forbade Ireland to export to the colonies "anything except horses, servants, and victuals." England followed with a decree that no Colonial products could be landed in Ireland until they had first landed in England and paid all English rates and duties.

Ireland was forbidden to engage in trade with the colonies and plantations of the New World if it involved sugar, tobacco, cotton, wool, rice, and numerous other items. The only item left for Ireland to import was rum. The English wanted to help English rum makers in the West Indies at the expense of Irish farmers and distillers.

When the Irish were forbidden to export their sheep, they began a thriving trade in wool. In 1634 The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Stafford, wrote to King Charles I: "All wisdom advises us to keep this (Irish) kingdom as much subordinate and dependent on England as possible; and, holding them from manufacture of wool (which unless otherwise directed, I shall by all means discourage), and then enforcing them to fetch their cloth from England, how can they depart from us without nakedness and beggary?"

In 1660 even the export of wool from Ireland to England was forbidden. Other English laws prohibited all exports of Irish wool in any form. In 1673, Sir William Temple advised that the Irish would act wisely by giving up the manufacture of wool even for home use, because "it tended to interfere prejudicially with the English woolen trade."

George II sent three warships and eight other armed vessels to cruise off the coast of Ireland to seize all vessels carrying woolens from Ireland. "So ended the fairest promise that Ireland had ever known of becoming a prosperous and a happy country."

Irish linen manufacturing met with the same fate when the Irish were forbidden to export their product to all other countries except England. A thirty percent duty was levied in England, effectively prohibiting the trade. English manufacturers, on the other hand, were granted a bounty for all linen exports.

In 1665 Irish cattle were no longer welcome in England, so the Irish began killing them and exporting the meat. King Charles II declared that the importation of cattle, sheep, swine and beef from Ireland was henceforth a common nuisance, and forbidden. Pork and bacon were soon prohibited, followed by butter and cheese.

In the middle of the 18th century, Ireland began developing a silk weaving industry. Britain imposed a heavy duty on Irish silk, but British manufactured silk was admitted to Ireland duty-free. Ireland attempted to develop her tobacco industry, but that too was prohibited.

In 1819 England withdrew the subsidy for Irish fisheries and increased the subsidies to British fishermen - with the result that Ireland's possession of one of the longest coastlines in Europe, still left it with one of the most miserable fisheries.

Late in the 18th century the Irish became known for their manufacture of glass. George II forbade the Irish to export glass to any country whatsoever under penalty of forfeiting ship, cargo and ten shillings per pound weight.

By 1839, a French visitor to Ireland, Gustave de Beaumont, was able to write:

"In all countries, more or less, paupers may be discovered; but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland. To explain the social condition of such a country, it would be only necessary to recount its miseries and its sufferings; the history of the poor is the history of Ireland."


From the 15th through the 19th centuries, successive English monarchies and governments enacted laws designed to suppress and destroy Irish manufacturing and trade. These repressive Acts, coupled with the Penal Laws, reduced the Irish people to "nakedness and beggary" in a very direct and purposeful way. The destitute Irish then stood at the very brink of the bottomless pit. When the potato blight struck in 1845, it was but time for the final push.....
(From here)

We are no longer bitter to the point of distraction , nor do we seek 'revenge' .
But we continue to demand Justice .

The 1169 Team.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

THE IRA : the new IRA is younger , more radical and has seen little of life other than violence.......
By Ed Moloney.
From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

The IRA of the 1980's which resulted from the re-think was no longer the victorious 'people's army' of the early 1970's which would push the British into Belfast Lough , but a small , highly organised band of politically dedicated guerrillas prepared to fight for years.

One current IRA Army Council member summed-up the new strategy in the following way : " The IRA has the ability to force the British out but by that I don't mean militarily . But we can make Ireland so unpopular an issue they will be forced to leave. Even at the lowest level the IRA has the capability to be a major de-stabilising force and we're prepared for the long haul ; 30,40 or even 50 years if necessary." ('1169...' Comment : what rubbish! Within three years of those words been spoken [that is, by 1983] plans were enacted by the then new leadership to begin the process of winding down the struggle . In 1986 a further step along the constitutional road was taken , leading to where the Provisionals are today : salaried administrators for Westminster's interests in Ireland!)

In late 1976 the IRA's General Headquarters Staff established a 'think-tank' which was to examine ways of implementing this new thinking and to report back directly to the Provisional IRA Army Council : the 'think-tank' itself was dominated by two Northern radicals , both former IRA Brigade Commanders recently released from jail. In early 1977 it reported back to the IRA Army Council and recommended that the IRA should be split into two - one part was to be responsible for fighting the war and was to consist in the main of new 4 or 5 person 'cells' or Active Service Units and the old British Army-style organisation of companies , battalions and brigades were to be largely scrapped. The 'cells' were to be responsible in the first instance to local IRA Commands or Brigades but ultimately to a new 'IRA Northern Command' which would replace IRA GHQ as the main IRA co-ordinating body .

The 'other' IRA , the 'open' IRA , was to fight the political war.......


Arrested on active service in April 1976 and sentenced at her 'trial' eight months later to 14 years imprisonment , Belfast republican Mairead Farrell became one of the first women POW's to take part in the protest for political status . Later on she was involved in the 'no wash' escalation of the protest in Armagh Jail , and in December 1980 she was one of three women prisoners to join the first hunger-strike . Here , in a smuggled communication to this magazine , she writes about the strip searches , prison work and isolation that are features of the prison regime's repression in Armagh.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

" This repressive attitude is mirrored in all areas , and in none more so than in the area of prison work . Throughout Europe many prisons have abolished prison work due to the economic recession - since work is so scarce on the outside it is impossible to secure contracts for work within the prisons.

The same position applies to Armagh Jail , with no industry prepared to supply a contract , yet instead of the prison administration taking a sensible view of the situation by providing educational and vocational training during the day , they demand that POW's sit at sewing machines all day every day , doing nothing but stitching prison-issue jeans which aren't even saleable.

Such work is monotonous , and one would think that the prison administration's interest would be in keeping minds occupied and in providing some type of mind-stimulating alternative to demeaning work which can only increase tension and discontent throughout the jail. It is hypocritical of the NIO to even speak of work inside the prisons when tens of thousands in the occupied six counties remain unemployed....... "


The Class Of '76:(Top row L. to R.) Charlie Fagan (Arthur's brother) , Dickie Glenholmes (Jnr) , Ciaran 'Zack' Smyth (served 9 years in jail) , Philip Rooney (served 8 and a half years) , Seany McVeigh (served 10 years). (Bottom row L. to R.) Eugene Gilmartin (serving life in the H-Blocks) , Arthur O Faogain.

The ghettos of Belfast and Derry are filled with stories such as this one. It is not unique. Young men and women, because of the partition of this country by the British, are killed, imprisoned and maimed.
By Artur O Faogain.
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

" They will all be out soon . Between now and February * 1987 , one by one, they will all be released . Just two more years then freedom ; teenage friends , now grown men . A whole generation gone missing. And yet for two the torment will continue - one imprisoned for life , and me crippled for it . The Brits have stolen our time .

On a cold , clear January night in 1975 , a group of friends walked slowly down an empty street . Laughing , shouting , kicking and pushing , eager for the future . Stopping on a corner , one spoke -
"I wonder how many of us will be here by this time next year?" These words , spoken in a lighthearted way , give that moment a poignance that only years later I understood . It was as if we had all accepted a violent fate for ourselves , both 'romantic' and eventful . Our minds were filled with images of events and people that we would someday portray in those dark empty streets .

To be IRA Volunteers was our dream and to take on the British Army was our goal . Motives were all around us , in memories and surroundings - we had all witnessed the sectarian riots of the late 1960's and 1970's . We had all witnessed , too , the British Army's arrival as 'protectors' , and internment and its ensuing turmoil . Gun-battles at night and funerals during the day . The resistance of our people and the oppression of them by the Brits....... "

(* " I wrote 'Shedding Dreams' in 1985 before the release from prison of friends that I grew up with . Their release gave me great heart but sadness still persists . For although most were released one is still held , under the 'Secretary of States Pleasure' . Sammy was 17 the last summer he was free - he's now 29. The British 'direct ruler' must get great pleasure from that fact . Last October [1986] another friend , Sammy's cousin , Eugene, also got life in prison .")

Sunday, July 06, 2008

" Eighty-six years ago, in December 1922, the Curragh Camp was the scene of a terrible tragedy; it was the execution, by firing squad, of seven young men in the Military Detention Barracks, now the Curragh Prison. The full story of the events of the week from 13 December 1922, when the men were arrested, to 19 December 1922, when they were executed, is not now known. All of the people involved are dead, and with them their stories. It appears that all official records of the executions have been lost or destroyed....."
(From here)


Between 17 November 1922 and 2 May 1923 , seventy-seven Republican prisoners were removed from their prison cells and shot dead by order of the Free State administration . In this post we name those 77 men and list where each man was executed and the date of same : we do so in the hope that , after the search engines have archived this information it will be retrieved by those who , like us , are of the opinion that these men should not be forgotten.

1922 :
James Fisher , Dublin , November 17.
Peter Cassidy , Dublin , November 17.
Richard Twohig , Dublin , November 17.
John Gaffney , Dublin , November 17.
Erskine Childers , Dublin , November 24.
Joseph Spooner , Dublin , November 30.
Patrick Farrelly , Dublin , November 30.
John Murphy , Dublin , November 30.
Rory O Connor , Dublin , December 8.
Liam Mellows , Dublin , December 8.
Joseph McKelvey , Dublin , December 8.
Richard Barrett , Dublin , December 8.
Stephen White , Dublin , December 19.
Joseph Johnston , Dublin , December19.
Patrick Mangan , Dublin , December 19.
Patrick Nolan , Dublin , December 19.
Brian Moore , Dublin , December 19.
James O' Connor , Dublin , December 19.
Patrick Bagnel , Dublin , December 19.
John Phelan , Kilkenny , December 29.
John Murphy , Kilkenny , December 29.

Leo Dowling , Dublin , January 8.
Sylvester Heaney , Dublin , January 8.
Laurence Sheeky , Dublin , January 8.
Anthony O' Reilly , Dublin , January 8.
Terence Brady , Dublin , January 8.
Thomas McKeown , Louth , January 13.
John McNulty , Louth , January 13.
Thomas Murray , Louth , January 13.
Frederick Burke , Tipperary , January 15.
Patrick Russell , Tipperary , January 15.
Martin O' Shea , Tipperary , January 15.
Patrick McNamara , Tipperary , January 15.
James Lillis , Carlow , January 15.
James Daly , Kerry , January 20.
John Clifford , Kerry , January 20.
Michael Brosnan , Kerry , January 20.
James Hanlon , Kerry , January 20.
Cornelius McMahon , Limerick , January 20.
Patrick Hennesy , Limerick , January 20.
Thomas Hughes , Westmeath , January 20.
Michael Walsh , Westmeath , January 20.
Herbert Collins , Westmeath , January 20.
Stephen Joyce , Westmeath , January 20.
Martin Bourke , Westmeath , January 20.
James Melia , Louth , January 22.
Thomas Lennon , Louth , January 22.
Joseph Ferguson , Louth , January 22.
Michael Fitzgerald , Waterford , January 25.
Patrick O' Reilly , Offaly , January 26.
Patrick Cunningham , Offaly , January 26.
Willie Conroy , Offaly , January 26.
Colum Kelly , Offaly , January 26.
Patrick Geraghty , Laoise , January 27.
Joseph Byrne , Laoise , January 27.
Thomas Gibson , Laoise , February 26.
James O' Rourke , Dublin , March 13.
William Healy , Cork , March 13.
James Parle , Wexford , March 13.
Patrick Hogan , Wexford , March 13.
John Creane , Wexford , March 13.
Séan Larkin , Donegal , March 14.
Tim O' Sullivan , Donegal , March 14.
Daniel Enright , Donegal , March 14.
Charles Daly , Donegal , March 14.
James O' Malley , Galway , April 11.
Francis Cunnane , Galway , April 11.
Michael Monaghan , Galway , April 11.
John Newell , Galway , April 11.
John McGuire , Galway , April 11.
Martin Moylan , Galway , April 11.
Richard Hatheway , Kerry , April 25.
James McEnery , Kerry , April 25.
Edward Greaney , Kerry , April 25.
Patrick Mahoney , Clare , April 26.
Christopher Quinn , Clare , May 02.
William Shaughnessy , Clare , May 02.

The above-listed 77 men did not take up arms in the belief that they were fighting for the establishment of a morally-corrupt so-called 'half-way-house' institution , nor did they do so to assist the British in the 'governance' of one of their 'part' colonies : that which those men and many others fought for remains to be achieved . You can help present-day Irish Republicans to achieve that aim.......


Thomas Ashe, Kerry, 5 days, 25 September 1917 (force fed by tube , died as a result).
Terrence McSweeny, Cork, 74 days, 25 October 1920.
Michael Fitzgerald, Cork, 67 days, 17 October 1920.
Joseph Murphy, Cork, 76 days , 25 October 1920 .
Joe Witty, Wexford , 2 September 1923.
Dennis Barry, Cork, 34 days, 20 November 1923.
Andy O Sullivan , Cork, 40 days, 22 November 1923.
Tony Darcy, Galway, 52 days, 16 April 1940.
Jack 'Sean' McNeela, Mayo, 55 days, 19 April 1940.
Sean McCaughey, Tyrone ,22 days, 11 May 1946 (hunger and thirst Strike).
Michael Gaughan, Mayo , 64 days, 3 June 1974.
Frank Stagg, Mayo , 62 days, 12 February 1976.
Bobby Sands, Belfast , 66 days, 5 May 1981.
Frank Hughes , Bellaghy (Derry), 59 days, 12 May 1981.
Raymond McCreesh , South Armagh , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Patsy O Hara , Derry , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Joe McDonnell , Belfast , 61 days, 8 July 1981.
Martin Hurson , Tyrone , 46 days, 13 July 1981.
Kevin Lynch, Dungiven ( Derry) ,71 days, 1 August 1981.
Kieran Doherty , Belfast , 73 days, 2 August 1981.
Tom McIlwee , Bellaghy (Derry) , 62 days, 8 August 1981.
Micky Devine , Derry , 60 days, 20 August 1981.

"Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel."

('The Ballad of Reading Gaol', by Oscar Wilde, written after his release from Reading prison on 19 May 1897.)